Brighter Darkness                           

 

The other day in Fairyland

a servant told the Queen:

"Your Darkness, I have news to tell,

your sister has come by

and wish's a word with you to speak

about what, I do not know.”

The Dark Queen, not amused at all, said:

"Very well, then bring her in and show her to my room."

 

The meeting was ambiguous

but so to speak were they,

the one was dark as the midnight sun,

the other bright as hell.

"Now tell me what you want from me,

I have a realm to reign."

The Bright Queen answers:

"That's the point,

your reign is too dark too see.

It overshadows all the land,

and some part of the sea,

which scares your people all the same,

so I came up with an idea.”

 

The Dark Queen knew this game to well,

For it was a part she claimed herself

To establish within sisters’ rivalry

A long, long time ago.

But now the Bright Queen had her way,

She even brought the judge for this:

The neutral so-called Riddle-maker,

a fellow known for wits.

 

He said: “Dear Queens of Bright and Dark,

I have a quest for you,

A task that can improve one’s life

Or otherwise harm the fool.”

The Dark Queen was not in the mood for that,

– She had some plans to carry out –

But failing brightness before it’s done?

Of course she would compete.

“So, tell us what this challenge is,

What do we have to do?

And tell us quick, my time is rare.”

The Bright one smiled a little bit

And thought: “So is your lore.”

 

The task was this:

“I want from you to make your people safe,

To warn them throughout the realm

Of mischief, beasts and thieves.”

“Oh that’s too easy!” cried the Bright,

“For me, I’m used to it.

But my sister here not quite,

As she was never bright a bit.”

 

The Dark Queen smiled suspiciously,

“That’s the path I chose,

The darkness is my comfort zone

But I can do brightness nonetheless.

Just because you’re bright and shiny,

Doesn’t mean you always win.

I have powers of my own,

Just wait and see and you’ll know what I mean.”

 

On the day they met again,

The deadline was upon them.

Starting at the castle of the Bright this time

They wandered through her realm

To see her solution of the task

Before they saw the one of the Dark Queen.

The Bright Queen’s answer was simple and straight:

Road signs along the ways to show what lied ahead.

‘Beware the ogre!’, ‘Beware the witch!’,

Beware those vicious minds!

‘Beware the trolls!’, they eat your brains!

Plus red-framed silhouettes to make people keep in mind:

Those beasts are not your friends.

 

“Well done,” judged the Riddle-maker then,

“a solution clear and understandable.

Now let’s see what Her Darkness had thought of

To make misfortune more preventable.”

They rode along to the realm of the Dark

And soon were shocked to see:

Road signs with figures, framed in red;

She had the same idea!

 

But the contents of her warnings were quite the opposite:

‘Beware the dwarves!’, ‘Beware white horses!”

– especially with men in shining armour! –

‘Beware Fairy Godmothers!’ all along,

‘Beware the little folk!’, although they were such helpers!

The judge was stunned, the Bright Queen staggered,

The Dark Queen pleased to bits.

“As you know, I’m dark and twisted,

And yes, so is my reign.

My people shouldn’t fear the thieves,

If all, they should fear me.”

The Bright Queen’s face turned red and redder,

“Your darkness is pure agony!”

 

The Dark Queen’s answer was calm but clever:

“Just because you think those creatures

Are helpful in your realm

Doesn’t mean they’re the same in mine.

What you can do, I can do better,

I thought so all the time.

And now you see, the thought’s the same,

It’s my taste that is not bright.”

 

In the end, it was the Riddle-maker’s burden.

The Queens of Bright and Dark might differ

In many ways, that was for sure.

But their solution was the same,

No matter how obscure they were.

So who’s the winner in this game?

 

He still couldn’t tell for certain.